It's safe to say that people without a roof over their heads are the ones who need financial help the most. But their money troubles may soon be over in Oregon as the state is considering giving homeless people $1,000 (nearly P55,000) a month.
In a proposed bill, lawmakers are planning to introduce a People's Housing Assistance Fund Demonstration Program through the state's Department of Human Services.
This aims to provide 12 monthly payments of $1,000 to individuals who are "experiencing homelessness, are at risk of homelessness, are severely rent burdened or earn at or below 60 percent of area median income."
The legislation states that the financial assistance can be used at the recipient's discretion, but the bill details it may be spent for "utilities, telephones, cable plans, student loans, medical expenses, auto loans, auto repairs, transportation or any other goods or services needed as basic human necessities."
If approved, the program would last until January 2026, after which the Portland State University Homelessness Research and Action Collaborative would present their observations on whether the cash assistance program would also be effective across different demographics and household populations.
According to data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, there had been a total of 582,462 people sleeping on the streets nationally during a single night in January last year. In Oregon, the homeless population reached a total of 14,655.